Past Faculty

Irene Small

Irene Small headshot

Photo courtesy Irene Small


Irene V. Small teaches modern and contemporary art and criticism with a transnational focus. Her areas of specialization include experimental practices of the 1960s and ’70s, and art and theory in Latin America, particularly Brazil. Her forthcoming book, Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame, examines the production of the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, who worked in Rio de Janeiro, London, and New York from the mid-1950s through the late 1970s. In particular, the book examines discourses of developmentalism and organic processes of emergence as they intersect in the articulation of a participatory art paradigm in mid-1960s Brazil. Small’s recent essays have considered autopoiesis and medium specificity and the historiography and ideology of the Brazilian avant-garde. Her research has been supported by a number of fellowships and grants, including the Getty Research Foundation, the Dedalus Foundation, the Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, the Lemann Institute of Brazilian Studies, and the Research Board of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was an assistant professor of art history from 2009 to 2012.

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315 McCormick Hall

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